Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook can help you connect with a wider web of people and introduce them to your product or service. The benefits are great, and getting started is easy.

Social media is a terrific tool to build connections with potential customers. In fact, with 175 million registered users on Twitter and 600 million people on Facebook, you are seriously missing out on a marketing opportunity if you are not using these channels to reach new business.

Why Social Media Works

Marketing has changed a lot since the days when Yellow Page ads and billboards were the de facto for companies looking to get the word out. Today, consumers are more in control of whether and where they connect with companies, and many choose to follow companies they are interested in on social media.

Why do they do that? Many companies offer special offers, contests, interesting articles and engagement through social media, and you should too. Consumers keep coming back to a brand’s Twitter or Facebook Page to see what’s new and share it with their friends.

Social media helps you build trust with potential customers. It gives your brand the opportunity to jump into relevant conversations and start new ones. You humanize your company by choosing a voice to represent who your brand is and who you want to connect with.

Let’s say you design eco-friendly candles and sell them online. By using Twitter and Facebook, you can connect with people who talk about and buy eco-friendly items and engage in a generic dialogue about, say, recycling. It’s not necessary to push your products; if you are engaging and interesting, people will click the link to your website to learn more.

On Facebook, you can share photos of your candles and ask fans to post their own photos and reviews. You can create videos on YouTube about candle care and share them on Twitter and Facebook. You can share your blog posts through these channels as well. As you see, there are many ways to connect with people using social media.

Trying Out Twitter

Twitter is a great tool to engage in conversations (as explained above) and share links. It can help you:

  • Understand what people are saying about your brand
  • See what the competition is doing
  • Offer surveys to improve your product or service
  • Engage in conversations
  • Offer special promotions
  • Share your blog content and other articles

You only have 140 characters to say what you need to on Twitter, so learn to shorten your sentences. Tools like Hootsuite let you shorten URLs so you have more space to type.

Finding Followers on Facebook

Everyone from teens to seniors is on Facebook these days. And they don’t like to leave the site to visit another website, so it’s key that you keep people interested on your Facebook Page. There is so much you can include on your Facebook Page:

  • Daily updates
  • Blog posts
  • Photos of products or staff
  • Videos
  • Calendar of events

Facebook is great for serving as an alternative to your website. Give people as much as possible to sift through, and make it easy to get to your site from your Page. You can engage in dialogue on your Page, just like on Twitter.

How to Use Facebook

Just like Twitter, the more you update your Page, the more people it will attract. The key is having as many people as possible “Like” your Page, because when they do, there’s an update on their walls that informs their friends that they like your Page. This can instill curiosity in others, who also visit your Page. It’s the snowball effect.

Through your personal profile, invite your friends to Like your business’ Page. Add a button to your website and in your email newsletter inviting visitors and subscribers to visit your Page. Offer some sort of incentive for doing so, such as an exclusive discount or early peek at new products.

Here is more information on the benefits of Facebook and how to use it.

It may take you a while to get used to adding social media to your marketing tasks, but as you get used to using Twitter and Facebook, you will start seeing those benefits.